National Gallery plans to privatise visitor services

The National Gallery has decided to privatise up to 400 of its 600 staff including those who look after security of the paintings, deal with the public and requests for information about the collection, complaints, school bookings and more.

This came just a week after Director Nicholas Penny announced his resignation. Ten senior managers at the Gallery have left, been made redundant or dismissed in the last two years. A temporary “Security Consultant” responsible for the privatisation used to work for G4S, the private security firm.

Only last November the Gallery Executive endorsed the view that privatisation could not guarantee quality of service and would not save money. Now they and the Board of Trustees have announced privatisation is the only option.

not the crown jewelsAs part of the campaign against the threat of privatisation at the National Gallery, and taking the collection as their main reference point, gallery staff have curated an exhibition of their own artwork.

The gallery’s employees are creative individuals with strong ideas, not just replaceable units to be sold off to the highest bidder.

They want to challenge the view expressed by those who favour privatisation that staff shouldn’t be concerned because the paintings are “Not the crown jewels”!

The exhibition runs from 13th November to 5th December, open to the public Monday to Friday, 10am-5pm.

They want to challenge the view expressed by those who favour privatisation that staff shouldn’t be concerned because the paintings are “Not the crown jewels”!

You can join the Campaign to defend our museums and galleries and say no to privatisation at the National Gallery by signing the online petition at 38 Degrees.

The petition states:

We call for:
• The National Gallery to remain a public service and the privatisation to be halted.
• The Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee to review the running of the Gallery.

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